20/02/2007 - Included in FPAL - under assessment by AHC
Place meets one or more NHL criteria
Distance from town (km):
Direction from town:
Woolmers La, Longford, TAS, 7301
Northern Midlands Municipality TAS
Location/Boundaries: About 458ha, Woolmers Lane, Longford, comprising the whole of Lot 1 Title Reference 27652.
Assessor's Summary of Significance: Brickendon Estate is a remarkably intact example of a farming property dating from the 1820s with its convict built farm complex , Georgian country house and formal garden. The estate is of outstanding national significance for its association with the convict assignment system and as a designed landscape providing a significant record of continuous farming practice at the place.
The assignment system was set up to provide convict labour to settlers in exchange for food and clothing. Masters were responsible for the physical and moral wellbeing of assigned convicts. Male convicts provided the labour to make the building materials such as bricks, sawn timber and quarrying stone from the estate, constructing the timber and brick buildings and working as agricultural labourers, gardeners and shepherds on Brickendon while female convicts worked in domestic service. Workplaces where convicts were employed continue to be used on the Estate as are the living quarters of female convicts. The chapel built for the convicts also survives at Brickendon. It illustrates the role placed on religion, seen as an important part of the reformation of convicts.
Convicts provided the labour necessary to establish and operate prosperous agricultural estates. Brickendon Estate represents an outstanding example of the successes of an industrious 1820s settler family and the productivity of convict labour. This established the groundwork that enabled six generations of the Archer family to continue to successfully farm the estate.
The farming property and historic buildings of Brickendon Estate illustrate a continuity of mixed farming practices in Tasmania from the 1820s. The colonial economy grew substantially in the years before transportation ceased and mixed farming made a significant contribution to this growth. At Brickendon intensive mixed farming specialised in grains, wool and animal husbandry, and the farmed landscape is confined within extensive boundary hedges, estate buildings, including the pillar granary and the brick granary constructed later, the two Dutch barns, the cottages, woolshed and stables, cart shed, the brick poultry house, cook house, blacksmith’s shop, outhouse, wells, drainage systems and access roads. Together these embody a significant record of farming practices.
Brickendon is uncommon in the diversity of original colonial features that survive within the boundary of a single property. The estate survives intact as the original 420 hectare property which has been continuously farmed by the descendents of the William Archer family for six generations. It retains evidence of its original use and demonstrates the importation of British farming practices into northern Tasmania by the Archer family and the way that the use of assigned convicts facilitated the establishment of these practices in the northern Tasmanian area. The original operation of the early Estate remains legible in the layout and farmed landscape.
Brickendon is also uncommon in that the range of buildings demonstrate early colonial agricultural and pastoral farming practices based on British practice and techniques imported by the Archer family and developed over six generations. This uncommon range of building types and construction methods are represented by the timber pillar granary raised on staddle stones to protect the stored grain from vermin, the Dutch barns, the poultry house and the blacksmith’s shop with its associated collection of tools.
Brickendon Estate with its farm buildings, main Georgian house in its garden setting, hedges and land use patterns is a rare source of information about the living and working conditions of colonial settlers and the convicts assigned to rural estates from the 1820s to the cessation of transportation in 1853. The property has been lived in by the same family for seven generations and it contains related documentary records including farm diaries, correspondence, agricultural machinery and other moveable objects which detail the layout and development of the estate. These records provide opportunities for research on the operation of the estate and the convict assignment system Archaeological remains at the place including the site of the convict barracks building provide the potential to reveal information about the lives and working conditions of convicts on Brickendon Estate.
Brickendon contains archaeological sites, layout and buildings associated with convict use which have the potential to add to our understanding of the assignment system and the living and working experiences of convict men and women on a large estate during the assignment period..
A Events, Processes
Brickendon Estate is a farming property dating from the 1820s, with intact convict built farm buildings, Georgian country house and formal garden. It is nationally outstanding for its association with the convict assignment system and for the continuity of farming practice at the estate. Assignment was the most common experience for convicts with 85% of those transported to Australia being assigned.
The assignment system was set up to provide convict labour to settlers in exchange for food and clothing. Masters were responsible for the physical and moral wellbeing of assigned convicts. Male convicts worked as blacksmiths, tanners, bricklayers and agricultural hands on Brickendon while female convicts worked in domestic service. Convict workplaces are extant on the Estate as are the living quarters of female convicts. Also extant is the chapel built for the sole use of convicts – religion being an important part of the reformation of convicts.
Convicts provided the labour necessary to establish and operate prosperous agricultural estates. Brickendon Estate represents an outstanding example of the successes of an industrious 1820s settler family and the productivity of convict labour which established the basis for six generations of the Archer family to develop the estate.
The farming property and historic buildings of Brickendon Estate illustrate a continuity of mixed farming practices in Tasmania from the 1820s. Mixed farming contributed significantly to the growth of the colonial economy in the years before transportation ceased (Butlin 1986). At Brickendon intensive mixed farming specialised in grains, wool and animal husbandry, and the farmed landscape is confined within extensive boundary hedges, estate buildings, including the two barns, cottages, two granaries, woolshed and stables, cart shed, poultry house, cook house, blacksmith’s shop, outhouse, wells and drainage systems and access roads. Together these embody a designed landscape resulting in a significant record of farming practices.
Brickendon is uncommon in the diversity of original colonial features that survive within the boundary of a single property. The estate is uncommon in that it contains the original 420 hectare property which has been continuously farmed by the descendents of the William Archer family for six generations. It therefore retains evidence of its original use and demonstrates the importation of British farming practices into northern Tasmania by the Archer family and the way that the use of assigned convicts facilitated the establishment of these practices in the northern Tasmanian area. The original operation of the early Estate remains legible in the layout.
Brickendon is also uncommon as a designed cultural landscape where the range of buildings demonstrate early colonial agricultural and pastoral farming practices based on British practice and techniques imported by the Archer family and developed over six generations. This uncommon range of building types and construction methods are represented by the timber pillar granary, Dutch barns, the poultry house and the blacksmith’s shop with its associated collection of tools.
The Brickendon Estate with its farm buildings, Georgian house in its garden setting, hedges, and land use patterns, provides a rare source of information about the living and working conditions of colonial settlers and the convicts assigned to rural estates from the 1820s to the cessation of transportation to Tasmania in 1853. The research potential of the place is enhanced by documentary records associated with the operation of the estate and the convict assignment system, including family diaries and records and early maps which detail the layout and development of the estate. Archaeological remains at the site provide the potential to reveal information about the lives and working conditions of convicts at the estate.
Brickendon contains archaeological sites, layout and buildings functionally associated with convict use, which have the potential to add to our understanding of the assignment system and the living and working experiences of convict men and women on a large estate during the assignment period.
Nominator's Summary of Significance:
Description: Brickendon Estate is a 458 ha mixed farming property with the boundaries corresponding closely to the 1820s land grant. The property contains a set of pre-1850s farm buildings and a Georgian country house dating from 1829-30. Since William Archer commenced farming in 1824 the property has remained in the ownership of his direct descendants, has been lived in by seven generations of the Archer family and is still managed as a working farm on the extensive alluvial soils of the Macquarie River flood plain.
The farming estate is bounded by the Macquarie River to the east and partially to the south while to the north and west the boundaries are delineated by hawthorn hedges. Similarly the field divisions of the farm and the access roads are defined by around thirty kilometres of trimmed hawthorn hedges. Gaps through the hedges or gateways create views across the farmed landscape to neighbouring properties, including Woolmers directly across the river to the east or the imposing mountain ranges, the Great Western Tiers, to the west.
Located on level ground separated by one field from the Macquarie River the farm village comprises a large group of timber or brick buildings in vernacular style, set out along roadways framed by hawthorn hedges. The outstanding range of early colonial farm and estate buildings still extant at Brickendon is uncommon. The buildings include:
Weatherboard Cottage: Built with convict labour. Two roomed beaded weatherboard and brick nogged cottage with a central hallway and veranda. The original shingles are still in place under the corrugated iron roofing. Probably the oldest of the Brickendon structures, it was the original homestead from the property (1820s) which was probably later used as quarters for an overseer of convicts.
Pillar Granary: c.1827. Built with convict labour. A rectangular, Dutch gabled two storey plus loft building of weatherboard and brick nog construction elevated on curved sandstone straddle stones with circular capping stones to prevent vermin reaching the stored grain. The pitched corrugated iron roof, originally shingled, has jerkin head gables. Original beaded boards remain on the exterior of the southern wall and split boards on the other walls, with brick nogging internally
Dutch Barn No 1: c. 1827. Built with convict labour . A high pitch Dutch gabled timber frame construction, weatherboard barn. The building is a single storey structure, standing approximately 4.8 metres at plate height. The corrugated galvanised roof was previously shingled. Sections of earth floor have been concreted. The barn has a single internal space constructed in a cruciform plan. The building stands between the granary and its twin barn.
Dutch Barn No 2: c. 1827. Built with convict labour. A high pitch Dutch gabled timber frame and weatherboard single storey structure, with a corrugated galvanised iron roof, previously shingled. The building stands approximately 4.8 metres at plate height. The barn has a single internal space constructed in a cruciform plan. A concrete floor has replaced the original timber board and earthen floor. The barn is located on the southern side of the quadrangle, and stands opposite the granary. The buildings form an intact and exceptionally significant group of barns.
Implement Shed: c.1830s. Built with convict labour. A timber framed L shaped weatherboard and vertical split board building open on the south. Timber posts with beams support a galvanised iron hip roof. The floor is earthen. A 19th century photograph held by the Archer family shows further buildings infilling the space between the implement shed and the group of barns. Sub surface remains exist for these buildings.
Smoke House: 1831. Built with convict labour. Solid square brick building with a hipped shingle roof and one door and no windows. The roof has been reconstructed. An external bakers oven is located on the northern side of the building covered by a new awning.
Poultry Shed: Late 1830s Built with convict labour. Single roomed rectangular brick building with a galvanised iron tile gabled roof, richly moulded fascias, decorative brickwork for the pigeon loft at the gable ends and in a course along the top of the door head and brick pilasters at all four corners. There is a remnant brick paved floor and brick nesting boxes in the corners. The building may be later in date, c1840s if the iron tile roof is original. The building is reputed to be based on a contemporary pattern book design.
Granary. A rectangular two storey brick and stucco building with a galvanised iron jerkin head roof. A single storey skillioned section on the east side of the brick granary with associated timber stock yards.
Woolshed and stables. A rectangular weather board and corrugated iron building with a galvanised iron jerkin head roof attached to the granary extends to the north. Part of the former stables was modified to enlarge the wool shed to accommodate mechanical shearing equipment. Adjacent to the granary is a grain pickling room. The upper level is lined with blackwood boards.
Farm cottage: c.1830s. Built with convict labour. Split gable rendered brick cottage with a galvanised iron roof, originally constructed as two buildings for a dairy and overseer’s cottage. The building has been extended to the rear.
Outhouse: c.1830s. Built with convict labour. Single roomed brick building with a corrugated iron hip roof, once shingled. Internally the walls are plastered, the ceiling is beaded timber lining boards with a timber floor . The original two hole pine seat is still in place.
Cookhouse: c.1830s. Built with convict labour. Part brick/weatherboard building with a Dutch gable roof lined with metal patent iron tiles over earlier shingles. Internal brick oven and fire place and timber floor with concrete block hearth.
Blacksmiths’ shop: c.1830s. Built with convict labour. Brick rectangular building with a high pitched hipped roof of corrugated iron sheets with widely spaced pressed grooves, once shingled, with forge, bellows, charcoal vent, and associated tools and equipment still in situ. Outside the building is an iron hoop bed and tyre plate.
Chapel: c.1840s. The brick single room chapel has a high pitched shingled gable roof, belltower and gabled foyer. Built in Victorian Picturesque Rustic Gothic style the chapel is highly decorative with many neo-gothic features including brick buttresses and decorative fascias and stained glass windows. All but two original stained glass windows are in situ and the eastern lead light window relocated to Entally chapel forty years ago is to be returned to the chapel. Repairs have been undertaken to the chapel and the original pews reinstated.
Tanks. There are three interconnected brick and concrete lined in-ground tanks, one located east of the second timber barn, one rectangular tank located at the rear of the woolshed/stables building and one oval shaped tank east of the chapel and cookhouse, later used for household and farm rubbish.
Convicts barracks site. Built with convict labour. The site of the former barracks building c. 1829-30 has had no subsequent disturbance and subsurface remains appear to be in situ. A 19th century photograph of the building taken prior to demolition is in the possession of the Archer family.
Sawyer’s pit and site of carpenter’s shop. A site of convict labour. On level ground east of the barracks site is the site of the sawyer’s pit, carpenter’s shop and an additional residential building, all c.1929-30. The site is undisturbed and subsurface archaeological remains are likely to be in situ.
Bull pen. A wooden slab and corrugated iron shed east of the blacksmith’s shop. The building was erected after the 19th century photograph of the farm buildings was taken.
Carpentry shop (dairy). A 1950s rectangular building with a corrugated iron gable roof.
Landscaping. Within the farming estate the farm buildings precinct is sheltered by several mature plantings of pine trees and remnant eucalypts, and framed by hawthorn hedgerows which border both sides of the farm lanes and access roads. A very large Bay tree (Laurel) overshadows the privy. Assorted fruit trees grow in the vicinity of the Cookhouse and in back gardens of the cottages. Later plantings have been introduced into the cottage and chapel gardens.
Drainage system. The drainage has an extensive system of clay pipe drains of differing sizes and open channels, and a collection of associated tools.
Sites of wool washes. Marked on an 1843 map as the wool wash on the bank of the Macquarie River, the site is also evidenced by archaeological features. The site of a later wool wash, further upstream is indicated by timber footings.
The Brickendon House precinct is located on the estate a kilometre distant from the farm buildings and the river, and separated from the farm buildings by the public road, known as Woolmers Lane. The complex comprises the manor house in its garden setting, stables, coachman’s and gardener’s cottages.
Brickendon House, built using convict labour and constructed in 1829-30, the two storey Colonial Georgian brick residence has stepped two-storeyed wings on both sides which partially form a stone paved courtyard. The house contains a front staircase, two back stairs and a service wing including servants’ quarters and a cellar. A well in the cellar stores water collected from the roof while the hand pump is in situ in the courtyard. An original bell, marked 1836, in place over the courtyard gate was used to mark the hours of work and probably to sound the alarm in the case of attack. The windows are twelve or six panes with shutters and the doors six panelled. The front door was also shuttered and features an iron trellis portico custom designed by William Archer, son of Thomas Archer, manufactured and imported from London in 1857 for 70 pounds. The hipped roof is of slate and patent iron tiles. Windows are twelve or six panes, with shutters; the building has six panelled doors, and a front door with curved fieldings, which is also shuttered. The western corner of the servants' wing was rebuilt in 1845 following a fire. An iron trellis portico is positioned above the entrance gate of the rear courtyard. The conservatory adjacent to the house has been removed.
The house is surrounded by a 7ha parkland garden with many exotic trees sourced from around the world and planted during the 1830s. There is an extensive tree lined carriageway with formal avenue approaches to the back and the front of the house lined with a mixture of elms and hawthorn. The main approach terminates in an elliptical carriage turning circle. The centrepiece of the front garden is an ornamental sundial with an axial view from the main entrance. The grounds have been planted out with a mixture of native and exotic broadleaf trees and conifers. In the central formal area several interesting Victorian and Edwardian trees. The garden has later period overlays of planting which contribute to the variety of species. Later features include the metal gates.
Water reservoir. Timber frame, with iron tank, 7 metres above ground used to provide water for the house and garden.
Access roads to service buildings at the rear of the house are framed by high hawthorn hedges.
Stables: Rectangular, two-storey Old Colonial Georgian style brick building with hip roof and intersecting centre gable. The use of a central projecting gable shows Palladian influences. The ground floor is divided into three sections: stables, coach house and tack room with loft areas above. There are twelve pane windows on the ground floor and louvred windows with a fanlight above the upper floor door. The roof is clad with iron patent tiles c. 1840. A small metal Archer insignia is attached to one of the stable doors. An interconnecting workshop links the stable building with a weatherboard machinery shed.
Coachman’s Cottage: Built using convict labour c. 1830s a two storey painted brick building with a later extension to the back. The building has a high pitch gabled corrugated iron roof.
Gardener’s Cottage: Painted four room brick cottage with rear service wing built using convict labour c. 1830s. Reconstruction work undertaken in 1991 included an extension to the rear.
Landscape. All the early 19th century field systems can be identified and around thirty kilometres of hawthorn boundary hedges remain in place. The plantings of European trees and the maintenance of the hedge rows demonstrate clearly the intention to modify the colonial landscape to conform to the aesthetic values of an ‘antipodean England’. The collection of pre-1850s farm buildings remain largely intact and provide direct evidence of the continuity of farming practices from the 1820s. The remains of early drainage, water collection and distribution schemes are evident. Although some crops grown at Brickendon are relatively new arrivals, notably poppies, many others have been grown on the estate since its early days including barley and wheat. Just as it did in the 1820s, Brickendon continues to function as a mixed farm and in addition to agricultural produce approximately 2 000 sheep are run on the property.
Modern farm structures have been sympathetically sited so they do not detract from understanding the original layout and feeling of the property.